What does MDMA actually do to your brain?
Tag Archives | Ecstasy
RIP Alexander Shulgin – dead at 88.
He spent three decades synthesizing new psychedelic drugs in his California backyard lab, and he was credited with creating more than 100 previously unknown psychoactive compounds, but he was best known for a drug he didn’t invent:
Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, who in the 1970s rescued the circa-1912 pharmaceutical from obscurity by suggesting it would be viable for mental therapy, died yesterday at the age of 88, the organization Erowid announced:
The former Dow Chemical Co. research chemist synthesized drugs with the approval of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which gave him a license to analyze narcotics so that he could be an expert witness.
He said he invented more than 150 drugs while he also worked a day job as a scientific consultant after leaving Dow.
I always thought Molly/Ecstasy turned you into a blissed out hug-loving moron, but apparently it turns us into blissed out racists instead. From VICE:
… Read the rest
You don’t have a lot of time for rational thought after dropping a pill. Three Mitsis in and you’re almost entirely preoccupied with finding out what people’s scarves feel like, or busy trying to focus on literally anything through your rapid-fire flicker-eyes. So you’d have thought that, amid all the euphoria and heart palpitations, there surely wouldn’t be space to get hung up on the ethnicity of everyone around you.
However, it turns out that the brain’s biochemistry during a blissed out club night might not be too dissimilar from a rally during the EDL’s golden years. This is because of a hormone called oxytocin, which has been described by many as “the love hormone” or the “cuddle drug”. The hormone has been linked to developing trust between mother and child during breast feeding, and between partners after intercourse.
Peter Grey, head honcho of esoteric publishers Scarlet Imprint, returns to SittingNow TV with a lecture on Apocalyptic Witchcraft!
Rick Doblin has been one of the few medical doctors in the United States, or actually make that more or less anywhere in the developed world, willing to stick his neck out and conduct clinical trials of psychedelic drugs.
His work has been variously profiled by the alternative press (including, of course, Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs), but it seems that his time may finally have come for some mainstream acceptance. Benedict Carey profiles the work of Doblin’s Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) organization for the New York Times:
… Read the rest
Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress have recently contacted a husband-and-wife team who work in suburban South Carolina to seek help. Many are desperate, pleading for treatment and willing to travel to get it.
The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection.
A study conducted by German scientists has revealed that using the popular party drug Ecstasy (MDMA) can cause deterioration of memory:
Among Ecstasy users, the researchers found a deterioration in a memory task called paired associates learning, in which people memorize pairs of words or objects so that the presentation of one triggers the recall of the other. None of the other cognitive tasks showed significant differences between users and nonusers, Wagner said. The specificity of the deficit suggests damage to the hippocampus, he said, the part of the brain that is crucial for memory formation and recall.
(Another point of interest from the study: it’s apparently difficult to find MDMA users who don’t also smoke marijuana.)
Read More at LiveScience.
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested...
Who would have thought – popping an E could cure cancer! From BBC News:
… Read the rest
Modified ecstasy could one day have a role to play in fighting some blood cancers, according to scientists.
Ecstasy is known to kill some cancer cells, but scientists have increased its effectiveness 100-fold, they said in Investigational New Drugs journal.
Their early study showed all leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma cells could be killed in a test tube, but any treatment would be a decade away.
A charity said the findings were a “significant step forward”.
In 2006, a research team at the University of Birmingham showed that ecstasy and anti-depressants such as Prozac had the potential to stop cancers growing.
The problem was that it needed doses so high they would have been fatal if given to people.
The researchers, in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, have chemically re-engineered ecstasy by taking some atoms away and putting new ones in their place.
The Oprah Magazine comes out in favor of MDMA as a therapeutic wonder drug, attempting to dispel hysterical, ‘rave’-related media cliches (propagated by Oprah herself, among others) along the way. Writer Jessica Winter tried MDMA for the first time for the sake of the article, and describes the enormous personal benefit she gained in the weeks after:
… Read the rest
To a layperson, the notion of using a drug like Ecstasy as a therapeutic tool for healing trauma might make as much sense as adding cocaine to a diabetic’s weight loss regimen. Ecstasy was the signature stimulant fueling a worldwide party culture in the 1980s and ’90s, epitomized by massive all-night dance “raves” crammed with blissed-out revelers and pulsating with electronic music at festivals and exurban warehouses across North America and Europe.
Yet MDMA’s beginnings were innocent, even banal. In 1912 it was included as an intermediate chemical in a patent that the German pharmaceutical company Merck filed for an antibleeding medication.
It’s been a long struggle, more or less since the days of Timothy Leary and Albert Hofmann in the ’60s, but doctors and scientists are finally being allowed to treat depression with some of the most effective drugs known to them: psychedelics. Anne Harding reports for CNN/Health.com:
… Read the rest
Pamela Sakuda, 57, was anxious and depressed. After two years of intensive chemotherapy for late-stage colon cancer, and having outlived her prognosis by several months, she’d finally lost hope. She was living in fear and was worried how her impending death would affect her husband.
Sakuda’s doctor prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t do any good. So, at her wits’ end and feeling that she had nothing to lose, Sakuda volunteered for an experimental depression treatment being studied at UCLA.
In January 2005, with a pair of trained therapists at her side, Sakuda took a pill of psilocybin — a hallucinogen better known as the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.”
It may seem far-fetched that a psychedelic drug associated with muddy hippies at Woodstock would help a cancer patient at a university hospital.